Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been a LONG Time........

...........since February 18 of this year, to be specific. How can I explain my absence? It's kind of hard to do so, other than to say "Life got in the way". Like so many others, I am dealing with the fallout of our ailing economy (and where's that recovery that the New York Times keeps hyping? It's not in the legal field, I can tell you that much), and frankly, my main concern has been on keeping my job, rather than on the blog. And, what with the four kids, the three dogs, what can I say--life got in the way.

So, where to begin? So much to discuss.............

1) The economy: It sucks, both in a macro and a micro sense. I alluded to this above. The MSM keeps reporting that things have improved, but I'd like to know where. Companies are still shedding jobs. The dollar keeps tanking (more on that below). The stock markets have come back a long way from their bottom earlier this year, but are still over 4,000 points from their peaks in October 0f 2007. All in all, not good. I suppose that at some point things do have to pick up, but the government's spending itself (and us by extension) isn't helping matters any. And, lest anyone think that this is all on President Obama, that is not the case. This began when Bush 43 was still in the White House, and the size of our national debt and the annual budget deficits is well beyond numbers that ordinary people can comprehend. This can and will ultimately lead to that dreaded curse of the President Peanut Farmer years, "Stagflation". When it does, look out Democrats. There's only so long that you can blame the Republicans, who haven't controlled the Senate since 2006 and the House since the last election. At some point, people WILL hold you responsible for this mess.

2) Afghanistan: President Obama campaigned on a slogan of getting us out Iraq and committing us "full time" to the war in Afghanistan. Leaving aside for the moment my thoughts on Iraq, I had no problem with getting the army the resources it needs to fight properly in Afghanistan. The problem is, the President's base, which is somewhere to the left of Karl Marx, never supported the Afghan War any more than it supported the Iraq War (or any war, for that matter). The left doesn't believe in war, period, and now the President is trapped between his flowery rhetoric and the desire of that left wing base to get us out of Afghanistan. It's a conundrum for him and one that is not easily solved.

3) The Nobel Peace Prize: Someone needs to explain to me why President Obama received it. Keep in mind, the nominations were due 12 days after he was inaugurated. So, in those 12 days, what exactly did he do to merit receiving it? In fact, in the almost nine months that have passed since he took office, what has he done? Iraq: We're still there. Aghanistan: Ditto. The Middle East: things are more bleak than ever (more about THAT below). Iran: Heading full steam towards nuclear armament. North Korea: Already a nuclear power, and just tested out some new missiles last week. I could go on and on, but the Nobel Peace Prize has always been an award based on achievement. I may disagree with the awards received by President Peanut Farmer and former Veep Al Gore, but at least they had accomplished SOMETHING. One argument I've heard is that Obama's award was based on the "changed sentiment towards America" around the world. Really? We've alienated Eastern Europe with our cancellation of the missile shield plans. We've ticked off the Chinese with our insane monetary policy. We've even antagonized the French, who now have have a more muscular foreign policy than we do. So, ultimately, who have we made happy? A bunch of Norwegians. Yeah, that's change we can believe in..............

4) The Dollar: The last I checked, it was heading for parity with Monopoly money. The "weak dollar" policy started under the Bush 43 Administration, and the Obama Administration hasn't done anything to change it. I hated it then, and I hate it now. The value of a currency is a reflection of the confidence other countries have in your economy and your country in general. The dollar's collapse is a clear indication that no one has any faith in the currency. That ought to worry everyone. Worse yet, the sheer amount of money in circulation will only make it that much harder to dig the dollar out of this hole..........if that can ever be done.

5) Iran: It WILL become a nuclear power, if not in 2010 than shortly thereafter. So, what have all those negotiations done for us? Nada. They gave Iran time and it laughed in our faces. There's no other way to describe what we're doing as anything other than appeasement, but history has always shown that appeasement does not work. The Iranian Mullahs are a bunch of apocalyptic loons and their front man is an anti-Semitic, terrorist thug. How can anyone seriously believe that you can negotiate with these people? It truly boggles my mind..........

6) Health Care: I hate this whole issue. I really do. While I am not supportive of the President's plan, I don't get as worked up about it as others do. I grew up in Canada, with socialized medicine, and in terms of what I would call "day to day" care, it was fine. Honestly. HOWEVER, when it came to dealing with specialists, there were wait periods, not only for visits and treatment. Those are waits that we here in he U.S. do not have to endure. Both systems have their virtues, but I think that on balance, our system works better.

7) Israel: Apparently, the one country that merits the ire of the Obama Administration is Israel. Not Iran, not the Palestinians, not North Korea, not Russia. Just Israel. That is why relations between the United States and Israel are as cold as they have been since the Eisenhower Administration, and are likely to grow even worse. Israel is facing an existential threat in Iran, one that the West in general seems to not be taking seriously at all, and yet all that concerns the United States is those horrible "settlements" in the West Bank. Let me ask a rhetorical question: Israel is 20% Arab, and if it were to expel those Arabs, there would be a hue and cry the world over. Yet, it is pretty much accepted that any future Palestinian state would HAVE to be Judenrein. Why? Why is the standard so different? And, then we have the Goldstone Report, which was commissioned by that noted friend of Israel, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, to examine Israel's "conduct" during the Gaza War last December and January. It found that Israel had basically committed one giant war crime from the beginning of the war until the end. In order to arrive at this conclusion, it basically accepted unequivocally every single contention made by the Palestinians while at the same time rejecting all of Israel's arguments. The Report will now be taken up by the U.N. Security Council. Given the dramatic cool-down of American-Israeli relations, does anyone out there think that anything positive will come of this? Yeah, me neither..............

8) Sports: i) It's not a huge issue, but is anyone else out there as appalled by some of those "retro" uniforms we have seen in the NFL this season as I am? Earlier this season, we had the Seattle Seahawks wearing bright green unis that made them look like a bunch of key lime pies. This past weekend, the Denver Broncos wore canary yellow and black unis that made people with good vision envy the blind. Maybe the NFL will sell some extra jerseys, maybe not, but to me, these things are simply hideous.

ii) My Miami Hurricanes are apparently back! After as tough an opening four games as I have ever seen a team play (at Florida State, at home to Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech, at home to Oklahoma), the Canes emerged 3-1. Before the season, I thought that they could realistically go 0-4, and that 2-2 would be as good as it could possibly get for the team, but the young players, and in particular QB Jacory Harris, are growing up quickly. The team is now 4-1, ranked in the Top Ten, and as well as it has played this season, is probably still a year away from its best.

iii) Back to the NFL: Has anyone seen a year where there have been this many bad teams? Cleveland is 1-4, and this past weekend, its quarterback, Derek Anderson, went 2 for 17 for 23 yards.......and the Browns STILL won, beating the equally hapless and hopeless Buffalo Bills 6-3. The Bills are also 1-4. And, scary as it may seem, these aren't the worst teams out there. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-5. Ditto the Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams are also winless and the Washington Redskins have one win, which was over the Rams. The Oakland Raiders are an atrocious 1-4, with their single win coming over Kansas City. And even though the Detroit Lions FINALLY won a game (perspective check: it was over Washington), they're still 1-4. The combined record of those teams: 5-35.

iv) The NHL season has started, and my Habs are off to a sputtering 2-3 start, including a blowout 7-1 loss in Vancouver. I wasn't optimistic about the team even before the season began, as last year's collapse, which resulted in a blowout four-game sweep by the Boston Bruins in the first found of the playoffs, resulted in a gutting of the team. Somehow, after all was said and done, the Canadiens managed to get smaller and even less tough. Worse yet, their best defenseman, Andrei Markov, is injured and out until at least February. It's going to be a lousy season in Habs-land.....................

v) The Baseball playoffs are well underway. Three of the Division Series' resulted in sweeps (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over my Boston Red Sox, Evil Empire New York Yankees over the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers over the St. Louis Cardinals), and the other one only went four games (Philadelphia Phillies over the Colorado Rockies). Honestly, I don't seen anything that will prevent the Evil Empire from capturing World Series title number 27. Yeah, I know that the Angels have in the past given the Yankees problems, but this New York team is an offensive machine that just can't be stopped. It's nauseating, but the Angels, Phillies and Dodgers are simply battling for the right to call themselves the second-best team in Baseball. Even more depressing, you can be sure that the Evil Empire will use the billions of dollars at its disposal to sign even more free agents this coming off-season. As I said, depressing.........

That's it for my first blog entry in nine months. I'll try not go as long before the next one!

2 comments:

Dan - Israeli Uncensored News said...

By now, Obama adopted in Afghanistan a policy which failed in Iraq before the surge, that of targeted strike with cruise missiles and drones instead of boots on the ground

serket said...

Praise the Lord, you're back! :-)